135 km from Jodhpur lies the fascinating and historical town of Nagaur which boasts impressive forts and massive gateways reminding the spirit of the powers that be that found its fullest expression in the land of Rajasthan in the past.
The focal point of any visit to Nagaur is the Ahhichatragarh fort in the confines of which are some beautiful palaces, lije Abha Mahal, Hadi Rani Mahal, temples and fountains. Abha Mahal is the palace of former Nagaur ruler Amar Singh Rathore, known for his bravery and courage.
An important city during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal period, Nagaur is home to many mosques chief among which is Tarkin-ki-Dargah built on the instruction of the Mughal emperor Akbar for Hamiduddin Nagauri, a disciple of the Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chishti who started the Chishti order of Sufism.
In medieval India, Sufism was an important aspect of Islam. Various authorities have offered different explanations regarding the origin of the word “Sufi”. According to one school of thought, the term Sufi has been derived from ‘suf’ or garments of coarse wool that were worn by the Sufi saints as a badge of poverty. Abu Nasral Sarraj, the author of an Arabic treatise on Sufism, traces the origin of term by the word suf (wool).
Generally, authorities are of the opinion that virtuous people were called safa. Hence the nomenclature Sufi. According to another school of though, the term has been derived from the Greek word Sophia meaning wisdom or knowledge.
Jahiz of Basra was the first writer to use the word Sufi in 869 A.D. Jami mentions that sufi was first applied to Abu Hashim of Kufa in the 8th century while Aul-Kusheri opines that this term was introduced in A.D.811.
Khwaja Ali Hujjwiri, Sheikh Bahaud-din Zakariya, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid-du-din Ganj-i-Shakar, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhamud, better known as Chirag-i-Delhi (the lamp of Delhi), Gesudaraz Syed Muhamad Husayni, Shaikh Badruuddin Samarkhandi, Shah Nayamatulla Qadiri, Shah Abdullah Shuttari and Khwaja Baqi Billah were some of the famous Sufi saints in Medieval India.
Located midway between Jodhpur and Bikaner, Nagaur comes alive with excitement and vibrancy during the annual cattle fair usually held from 30 January to 2 February. One of the fair biggest cattle fairs of India, it offers the visitors the opportunity to enjoy shopping in a unique way.
The Nagaur festival is a crucible of traders, buyers, folk dancers, local musicians, sellers with their thousands of livestock. Apart from the Nagaur bulls known for their fleet footedness, livestock such as cows, camels and goats are also sold and bought.
Cenotaph of Nagaur ruler Amar Singh Rathore, Nath Ji ki Chhatri and Bansiwala Temple are other places of attractions of Nagaur.
Headquarters of the district of the same name, Nagaur forms a perfect base for exploring several places of attraction that are found in the district.
Khimsar: Located in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan, Khimsar, 42 km away from Nagaur, is home to a sixteenth century fort which has been now converted into a heritage hotel. Khimsar is famous for sand dunes. Walking on the sand dunes approached through narrow countryside roads as the sun sets will be an unforgettable affair.
Merta: The Charbhuja temple or Merta- Meera Bai Temple is another place which must be visited. Merta in the Nagaur district is the birthplace of Meera Bai, a Rajput princess who later went on to become the greatest saints of the Krishna cult of Vaishnavism in 16th century India.
Jayal: Located at a distance of 40 km from Nagaur, Jayal is home to the Dadhimati Temple dating back to fourth century AD during the Gupta period. The temple is also known as Goth-Manglod temple.
By Air: The nearest international airport to Nagaur is Jodhpur. Several airlines operate flights from Jodhpur to other cities of India and vice versa.
By Rail: The nearest railhead for Nagaur is the Nagaur railway station. A good many train services operate between Nagaur and other places in India.
By Road: Nagaur is well connected by road to different parts of India. Major cities in Rajastha connected with it by road are Jodhpur (135km) and Jaipur (245km).